Monday

12th Nov 2018

Europe bans Bisphenol-A chemical in baby bottles

  • There are fears the compound could affect development and immune response in young children (Photo: wikipedia)

A European ban on baby bottles containing the chemical Bisphenol-A (BPA) will be imposed next year over fears the substance could affect development and immune response in young children.

Experts from EU member states approved the European Commission proposal on Thursday (25 November), several months earlier than expected.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

"The decision taken today is good news for European parents who can be sure that, as of mid-2011, plastic infant feeding bottles will not include BPA," said the EU's health and consumer affairs commissioner, John Dalli.

The chemical - widely used to make hard, clear plastic and frequently found in food and drink containers - has raised concerns for some time, prompting unilateral bans in Canada, France, Denmark and several US states.

In October, Canada became the first country in the world to classify Bisphenol-A as a toxic substance, despite heavy lobbying from the chemical industry against the measure.

The decision by EU member-state experts means the manufacture of feeding bottles containing the compound will now be banned in Europe from March 2011, with their import and sale to be banned from June 2011.

"There were areas of uncertainty, deriving from new studies, which showed that BPA might have an effect on development, immune response and tumour promotion," Mr Dalli said in a statement.

The National Childbirth Trust has campaigned for the ban in Britain.

"When you put liquids into a bottle - particularly hot liquids or liquids containing fatty liquids - it leaches out of the plastic," the group's chief executive Belinda Phipps told the BBC.

"It's a chemical that mimics estrogens, but not in a good way," she added. "It interferes with estrogens getting into the receptors, and it can have some very unpleasant effects - and animal studies have shown significant effects."

European Parliament approval is not required for the new restrictions to go ahead, with MEPs in any case calling for such a ban in June.

Focus

How France escaped EU legal action over chemical ban

A previously-unseen internal paper by the European Commission warned that a French ban of the bisphenol A chemical was "fully disproportionate". However, there was no consensus on starting an infringement procedure against France.

EU warns Romania not to abuse GDPR against press

Romania's data protection authority has threatened a €20m fine against reporters investigating high-level corruption. The European Commission has since issued a warning, telling Romanian authorities to give press exemptions when it comes to privacy rights.

Opinion

EU 'Magnitsky Act' must bear its proper name

Sergei Magnitsky gave his life to fighting corruption. The least we can do is to honour his sacrifice in the name of the legislation that his heroism inspired.

News in Brief

  1. UK seeks swift use of new EU chemical weapons blacklist
  2. Barnier briefs EU ministers: intense negotiations continue
  3. Romanian minister preparing EU presidency steps down
  4. Finland says Russia possibly behind GPS jamming
  5. German AfD leader under fire for Swiss campaign funding
  6. Seehofer announces he will step down as CSU party leader
  7. EU condemns elections in Russia-occupied eastern Ukraine
  8. German Greens pick two top candidates for EU election

Opinion

EU 'Magnitsky Act' must bear its proper name

Sergei Magnitsky gave his life to fighting corruption. The least we can do is to honour his sacrifice in the name of the legislation that his heroism inspired.

Opinion

All Quiet on the Eastern Front?

Russia is trying to foment a clash between Hungary and Ukraine over the territory of Zakarpattia in a potential crisis overlooked by EU leaders.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSTheresa May: “We will not be turning our backs on the Nordic region”
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsOpen letter to Emmanuel Macron ahead of Uzbek president's visit
  3. International Partnership for Human RightsRaising key human rights concerns during visit of Turkmenistan's foreign minister
  4. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSState of the Nordic Region presented in Brussels
  5. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  6. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  7. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General
  8. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSNordic design sets the stage at COP24, running a competition for sustainable chairs.
  9. Counter BalanceIn Kenya, a motorway funded by the European Investment Bank runs over roadside dwellers
  10. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  11. International Partnership for Human RightsCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  12. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs

Latest News

  1. Romanian leaders trade jibes over upcoming EU presidency
  2. EU warns Romania not to abuse GDPR against press
  3. EU 'Magnitsky Act' must bear its proper name
  4. Fear of nationalist surge marks European memorials
  5. Liberals ally with Macron for election, but no candidate yet
  6. Revealed: Link between MEPs CO2 votes and domestic car jobs
  7. All Quiet on the Eastern Front?
  8. Merkel and Brexit in spotlight This WEEK

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us